Democratic Party’s Newest Member: George W. Bush

By Richard J. Schneider

With a few exceptions, the Democratic Party should welcome in its newest member: President George W. Bush. The exceptions include defending the legality of his domestic eavesdropping program, making his tax cuts permanent, and nonsensical approaches to health care. For those of you wondering about the War in Iraq – that’s a lost cause. Congress gave that one away when it authorized the invasion. This year, I’m not going waste much time talking about our new method of pounding democracy down the throats of unruly Middle Eastern states. Suffice it to say that Bush, during his very first campaign for President, was dead set against nation-building. Now he’s the Builder Bob of this frustrating construction job.

On the domestic front, which has been ignored by Washington for years, many of the State of the Union address included retreads of just about everything the Democratic Party has been advancing. And some of the proposals were just plain silly.

Seeking energy independence from foreign oil, a still-born effort launched during the administration of GOP president Gerald ford. Following Ford, President Carter instituted programs aimed at developing alternative energy sources. Of course, the programs were either cut back or ignored by subsequent Republican and Democratic administrations. And the Republicans hate – just hate – urban mass transit programs. But don’t get me wrong. Encouraging alternative and advanced technologies today is a good thing, even though they have been promoted by nasty liberals for decades. We’ve got the ability to build into every house a solar-electric system that would decimate the demand for electricity generated by dirty coal or nuclear power.

The call to “buy American” was a real laugher. Where? How? Nothing is made here any more. Nothing! OK, we make our appliances here. That’s about it. Maybe broomstraw brooms in Colorado. Everything else is made in China, and most of it is crap. But, the buying public and American business just want cheap crap. So we’ve got it. Welcome to Walmart USA – home of cheap crap and lots of it.

I was astounded when the President hyped advanced placement classes in math and science for our nation’s high school students. Just when did the President hear about AP classes? Certainly not during his high school years. Must have been a little pillow talk between him and the librarian. When I was in high school – in the early sixties – we had advanced placement classes in math, science, English, foreign languages, and social studies. Hell, I entered the University of Illinois with credits in German, chemistry and college algebra. That was in 1965, bubba. I have a friend whose daughter just entered the University of Denver – as a sophomore! She picked up her first year of credits in high school. Hello? Anyone home at the White House? We already have AP classes, and have had them for – what – forty years or so. Maybe the President can toss a few bucks toward these valuable programs, now that he’s discovered their existence.

Want a tip for improving education (and this is for all you Republicans out there)? Quit bashing teachers! They’re under paid, under appreciated, under respected, and over worked – especially when it comes to being forced to parent unruly kids! Pass a law demanding parental responsibility and start praising teachers. How would you like to work in a profession that gets bashed constantly by big- mouthed politicians?

How about the health care mess? Instead of talking about the 800 pound gorilla – A SINGLE PAYER SYSTEM – Bush decides to set up more investment vehicles for Wall Street. How will medical savings accounts reduce the spiraling cost of health care? Poor people don’t have extra money to put into these accounts. Wealthier people don’t need them, except to shelter more income from taxes. An old and tired idea, the medical savings account concept has been around for a long time. It started as a part of cafeteria benefit plans offered to employees by some companies. It also assumes that people are over- using the health care system and that the savings account idea will cut back on this overuse because whatever isn’t spent on health care can be spent on a new TV made in China (since none are made in America) at the end of the year. Ask yourself – except for the occasional hypochondriac, whom do you know who is overusing his or her doctor’s office? No one wants to go to the
doctor! The real problem is UNDER-UTILIZATION of the health care system, especially when it comes to preventative health care. Medical savings accounts aren’t going to solve that problem, although thyey will help the
bottom line for a few more mutual fund managers.

And speaking of the 800 pound gorilla, what about the 600 pound gorilla? Social Security. Let’s study it, he commands! Haven’t we done that three or four times in the past 25 years? When are we going to quit studying the problem and doing something about it? What a “fresh” approach to solving a problem – create a blue ribbon commission to study it. I’ll bet his staff and speechwriters worked long and hard to come up with this novel idea. So much for the President’s political capital he planned to use to reform Social Security after the last election.

And speaking of security, just assume you are being watched when you use the phone, send and email or demonstrate against anything associated with the establishment. What I don’t understand is how any hard-working journalist will be able to “phone it in” from the Middle East. How can businesses fax, email or phone business stuff to the Middle East? According to the President, all this sounds like fair game for our spies, even though the U.S. Constitution says this isn’t supposed to occur without a warrant – and only courts can issue warrants. I don’t get it, and most members of the Democratic Party don’t get it. I suppose some newly conservative court will wind up sorting that one out. Kiss your rights goodby. By the way, spying on U.S. citizens is supported by the Democrats. They simply want the President to get the proper authority to
do so.

So while you listen to the Republicans slather praise all over the President for his innovative retread ideas, remember that liberal Senator Dianne Feinstein of the Peoples Republic of California gave Bush a “B” on his 2006 State of the Union address. It’s almost like he was in an Advanced Placement class. So he’d be, like, a sophomore when he enters the Democratic Party.

Denver writer Richard J. Schneider studies Political Science at the University of Colorado Denver. In his free time he sails and builds nations in his back yard.

© Richard J. Schneider

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One Response to “Democratic Party’s Newest Member: George W. Bush”

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